SAN DIEGO (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton still amazes his Miami teammates.
The big slugger hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning and the surprising Marlins earned a rare road win, beating the San Diego Padres 3-1 Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.
Stanton lined an 0-2 pitch from Dale Thayer (2-1) to right-center, a rocket shot that cleared the fence in a hurry at spacious Petco Park.
”That was pretty ridiculous,” Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner said. ”To be able to hit that ball, on a line, at this park like that … I don’t know how many other guys could do that. He’s swinging a hot bat and whenever he does, he’s dangerous.”
Stanton leads the NL with 11 home runs and tops the majors with 40 RBIs.
”I looked silly on that second pitch and I knew he was either going to throw something in the dirt or try to elevate that fastball again to see what I was going to do with it,” Stanton said. ”That was just putting the barrel on it. It wasn’t a home run swing.”
Said Miami manager Mike Redmond: ”I don’t know if you would ever see a right-handed hitter hit the ball out of the ballpark like that.”
Stanton’s shot was set up when Derek Dietrich reached on a two-out error by second baseman Jedd Gyorko.
”It was an easy play,” Gyorko said. ”It’s got to be made every single time. It’s unacceptable. It’s bad. It pretty much cost us the game, so it’s one of those things that’s going to be tough to swallow.”
Coming off an 8-1 homestand, the Marlins (20-15) took over sole possession of first place in the NL East for the first time since April 26, 2011. The last time they were five games over .500 was at 31-26 on June 7, 2012, according to STATS.
Miami improved to 3-10 away from home, the worst road record in the majors, by taking the opener of an 11-game West Coast trip. They did it despite being held to five hits by four Padres pitchers and striking out 17 times.
”It was a long night,” Redmond said. ”It wasn’t a great night offensively, a lot of strikeouts. I think it was a big lift for the guys. It was exactly what we needed.”
A.J. Ramos (3-0) worked two hitless innings and Steve Cishek got three outs for his seventh save in eight chances.
Starting pitcher Ian Kennedy homered and tied his career high with 12 strikeouts for the Padres, who have lost seven of nine. They played extra innings for the third time in four games.
Kennedy retired his first 14 batters before Garrett Jones’ two-out double in the fifth. The right-hander allowed one run and four hits in seven innings.
”I felt totally good with my curveball, throwing it for strikes,” Kennedy said. ”I threw it down and in for swings and misses. When you do that, you can pretty much pitch the way you want.”
Turner nearly matched Kennedy, giving up one run and five hits over six innings. Turner making his second start since coming off the disabled list, is 0-9 in 16 road starts to begin his career.
Turner has the third-most road starts without a win to start a career since 1914, according to STATS.
Kennedy gave the Padres a 1-0 lead when he hit his first career home run, a two-out shot in the second inning, in his 231st at-bat.
Kennedy became the third pitcher in Padres history to strike out 10 or more and hit a home run in the same game.
Miami tied it in the sixth on Christian Yelich’s two-out double and an RBI single by Dietrich. Kennedy walked Stanton and Casey McGehee to load the bases before striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
NOTES: Kennedy struck out 12 three other times. … Kennedy’s home run was the first by a San Diego pitcher since Andrew Cashner connected July 27 at Arizona. … The 11-game road trip is the Marlins’ longest of the season. … 3B Chase Headley (right calf strain), on a rehab assignment with Class-A Lake Elsinore, is on track to rejoin the Padres on Saturday night. … Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (4-1, 1.74 ERA) faces RHP Tyson Ross (3-3, 3.30) on Friday night.